NYC Fashion Week

It is fall fashion week in NYC and behind all the glitz, celebrities and drama, there was a lot of work to be done on my end. As you may already know, I own and operate a Fashion Consultant firm called My Image Expert www.MyImageExpert.com. I am also responsible for a custom couture fashion collection that I both design and produce in New York City. That said, sometimes I am called upon by other designers (much bigger then myself – literally) to fulfill last minute designs. Since my clothing collection is made locally, you can imagine all the calls I received for fashion week regarding last minute requests. Now that the week is just about over, I can finally settle in an share my thoughts about an incident that occurred a few days ago.

I was invited to be a guest blogger on a fashion related web site, much like this one. With the exchange of several e-mails, one of the contributors asked me to name my favorite trends for Summer/Spring 09. Anybody that knows me, knows I tend to over analyze things and it usually doesnt take much to get my wheels spinning. After the smoke cleared, I decided to share my thoughts regarding Summer and Spring trends for 2009 with the fashion network.

Spring/Summer 09 will be very a very interesting time for fashion. Fashion designers gather inspiration for their collection up to two years ahead of time. This includes the entire process from inception to completion. Inception includes the original concept for the garment including: color, fabric and style details that are usually represented in sketch form. Completion includes the delivery date that these garments are actually shipped the vendor or store supplier for retail. At this time, the consumer can actually buy and wear the garment.

Spring/Summer 09 trends were forecast several months before Spring/Summer 08! So in theory, the trends were created just before the majority of the credit crunch hit retail stores and consumers. By now, everyone knows that retail sales continue to take a beating due to the current condition of the economy. This beating has directly affected the designers and the companies they work for. Most of these companies manufacturer their own garments once the concepts, details, and samples are designed. The department store buyer will look at these manufactured samples and decide if they want to carry them in their stores. As we speak, buyers are working with designers and manufacturer samples for Spring/Summer 2010.

With that being said, this years Spring/Summer 09 trends, that are already available to consumers in retail stores, do not reflect the current credit crunch that has affected our economy. When the economy is bad, fashion trends tend to reveal the ramifications. Colors start to inherit neutral and basic tones like: brown, grey, cream and navy. This is because fashion colors (the trendy colors of the moment) are more expensive to manufacturer. In a bad economy, fabrics become less feminine and luxurious. Manufacturers use basic blends of cotton, wool and silk while avoiding intricate details like embellishments, sequins, leather, glitter and flaps. This helps to lower the overall price that a consumer will pay for such a garment. Hemlines tend to shrink in a bad economy. The mini skirt was first developed and designed by Mary Quant in the 1960’s while in the midst of an economic recession. Less fabric is cheaper and lets face it, a mini skirt leaves little to the imagination!

This will be the first time in history when being fashionable is out of fashion! The collections that walked down the runway in September’s Spring Fashion week were not designed for the frugal female or an economy on the verge of a recession. They were designed and created for the luxurious lady who loves to splurge on novelty items. When Spring 09 hits the stores many months after fashion week, people will simply pass up the designer brands and head to discount stores to buy what they can afford.

By now, my reply to your requirement is a bit extensive. I have to stop myself as I could go on for hours! I have decided to list my favorite trends in a more effective way that seems reasonable due to the economy and my above acclamations. It is possible to spend less and look the best! Many high-end designers have developed collections for discount stores like Target, H&M, and Payless. The best part about it is that no one ever has to know where you got it from! Here a few of my favorite high-end designers offering exclusive trendy and affordable collections. The trend for Spring/Summer 09 is to have the designers runway look at a fraction of the cost.

Botkier – purses, clutches, and wristlets normally found in high end department stores for $ 400-$ 800.00 available at Target for $ 50.00

Richard Thai ” a regular style innovator at New York Fashion Week best known for his silk dyed garments! His dresses, skirts, and blouses are available for a limited time at Target for $ 13-$ 80.00. A Thai dress regular sells for $ 800.00

Alice + Olivia ” a trendy womens wear brand in high-end department stores has released an exclusive collection for Payless Shoes! It will only be a matter of time before design garments for Target ” Shh! Alice + Olivia shoes and garments usually range from $ 200-400.00. Payless has the new line for about $ 40.00

If you would like to include some of your favorite trends, I would love to hear about them – especially if they are outside the box. In the meant time, stay unique!

Erika Chloe is New York’s premiere Fashion Consultant and CEO of MyImageExperta Fashion Consulting Company with locations in most U.S cities.